Residents, Business Owners React to East Village Plan - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Residents, Business Owners React to East Village Plan

Updated: March 14, 2013 10:18 PM CDT

It is one of Davenport oldest neighborhood districts, but now there is new plan for the East Village. And after seeing that plan for the first time Thursday night, residents and business owners tell us they are mostly optimistic about the area's future.

"The Village is kind of a diamond in the rough," Donna Young with Isabel Bloom says. "It's been around for a long time, but I think there's lots of potential." Maximizing that is the reason for the master plan and the meeting to get input on it. Lyle Stratton, owner of The Cottage Holistic Health Center, says, "I'm pretty excited about it. I think it's visionary, coming up with new ideas, good ideas."

There are more than 100 pages of them, covering commercial, retail and residential development, along with landscaping, facade improvement and festival locations. Organizers say it's about making it easier for tourists and locals to discover the Village from the river side. Stratton says, "The value of the gateway down along River Drive is real important I think, to get people in, to draw people in."

At the same time, the idea is to celebrate the history of the East Village. "They want to do things at Indian Springs and kind of bring in Lindsay Park, so that's good," Sara Childers says. Her job is historical research for Dakota Tribes. She says "We need a little interpretive center, a kiosk, for what this area really started as."

Many envision signs detailing the history of Camp McClellan or the Fire Museum. But others who have a history here say it's not only about improving what's already on site. They say the village footprint has to be expanded. Dave Losasso of Mississippi Fine Arts has been in business for 32 years. He tells us "Bars bring in localized tourism, we have lots of bars here. We need better shops, more unique places to shop, and that will bring in more people."

Planners say they want to tie all the themes from the Village and its history into one story. And they're taking suggestions from this meeting, and those they hope to get in the next two weeks, to do that. All of them will go into a final proposal that will be presented to the City Council in the next six to eight weeks. Once aldermen adopt the plan, changes will be phased in at the Village over the next 20 years.


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